Application Note: How to Avoid Contamination in Pipetting
Whether working in beverage quality control, Chemical & Consumer Care or pharmaceuticals, preventing contamination in pipetting is paramount to achieving consistently reliable results. From bacteria to endotoxins to trace metals, common contaminants in a lab setting can pose a number of problems. A contaminated sample or environment can be a risk to patient samples and cell cultures, but also to the integrity of the work itself, including:
- False analyses results
- Cell growth inhibition
- Loss of nucleic acid extraction yield
Commonly Asked Questions:
- What can I do to prevent pipette contamination? - Many things can be done to prevent contamination when pipetting. The main things to consider when pipetting is to employ proper pipetting technique, using the proper tips and pipettes and making sure pipettes and pipette accessories are properly cleaned and maintained.
- Which types of contamination occur as a result of pipetting? - There are three types of contamination that can occur when pipetting: pipette-to-sample (contaminated pipette or pipette tip compromises sample), sample-to-pipette (liquid or aerosol particles enter pipette body) and sample-to-sample (also known as carryover contamination).
- What are the common handling errors in pipetting? - Common pipetting errors include failure to pre-wet pipette tips, choosing the wrong mode, using improper pipette tips, tip wiping and simple human error like working too fast or pipetting at an angle.
With the right laboratory equipment and good pipetting technique, you can set yourself up for success. We invite you to download this informative application note which addresses the three contamination types that originate from pipetting, and what can be done to prevent such events.